04 March 2009

Finding Things

About two weeks ago, during one of the many totally unintellectual TV shows I watch, the Bedazzler was mentioned. I know vaguely what a Bedazzler is, and I have a shadowy recollection of seeing them advertised on TV lo so many years ago when they first came out. I had not, however, thought of the Bedazzler in decades. 

Since that mention a couple of weeks ago, though, I think I have heard or read the word at least once a day. It reminds me of the Law of New Vocabulary: learn a new word and suddenly you'll hear and read it everywhere. Bedazzler wasn't exactly new to me, but suddenly it has been unearthed, and it's everwhere. I find myself with an urge to start Dazzling. Riley and Maddie would love it. So far, I have refrained.

The Bedazzler is not the only rediscovered word and object I have encountered of late. In the process of packing up my house, I stumbled across all manner of little forgotten items, triggers of memories, tiny treasures of the past. I found the most recent one yesterday morning. When I reached deep into my coat pocket to extract my glove, it came out with a ribbon attached.

John and I were not big gift-givers, but on the rare occasions that John did give me something material, he always put together a lovely package. John was very sentimental and romantic, but much more one for a card or poem or song than for an object. This particular ribbon, which was wrapped around an object that I have long since forgotten, is itself the very kind of romantic kitch that John loved most: white satin with lettered in some kind of handwriting font with words like cherish, forever, togetherness, love.

I tied that piece of ribbon around the headboard of our bed after I unwrapped the gift, and there it stayed, for years. It has survived a few cleaning people (who seemed to know that if someone ties a ribbon on a bed, it must be done for a reason), a cat, my in-laws (who once decided to clean my bedroom [let's not even talk about how inappropriate that was just in idea] and threw the ribbon in the trash, causing me to totally freak out and get the whole household to dig through our garbage and recycling until we found it), and two toddlers. 

Why this ribbon is so meaningful to me is a mystery. It's just one of those things that is so very John, one of those things that has stuck around to remind of of the good of the past, and one of those things that I've invested with sentimental meaning that could never, ever be replaced. I don't have many objects like this, and the ones I have almost scare me because I'm not sure what I'd do if anything ever happened to them. For me, this is the danger of finding most "stuff" totally superfluous: the stuff that is meaningful is really, really meaningful.

When I was packing up the Old House, I neglected to pack the ribbon. It wasn't until I was back at the condo picking up some last-minute things (an errand I continue to run nearly daily) that I noticed it. This must have during the week that I was scheduled to meet with the stager, because I remember feeling relieved that I noticed the ribbon before she had a chance to declare that Such Randomness would make my house Unsellable and get rid of it. I removed the ribbon and shoved it into my coat pocket, where it lay, forgotten, until yesterday morning.

It's laying on my lap right now. I've left it in my coat pocket since my bed is still at the Old House and the bed I'm using at CV's has no headboard. I've nearly lost it a few times; it often clings to my fleece gloves as I pull them from my coat, and already this morning, as I was leaving daycare, Riley held it out to me and said, "Mama! What this?" But I keep stuffing it back in my pocket and enjoying the memories it brings back when it flutters out when I reach in for my keys or a Kleenex or the googley eye that fell off Maddie's art project last week that she now needs back IMMEDIATELY.

I'm tempting fate. If I don't find somewhere to put the ribbon, I'm going to lose it. Part of me wants to lose it. This move out of the Old House is a fresh start. There's a part of me that wants to shed the few Meaningful Objects I cling to and break away from that past. Perhaps I should run over my special coffee mug and tie the ribbon to the Japanese maple we planted at the Old House, perhaps for a bird to find and take away to its nest. But perhaps that would be foolish. I have so few of these objects. It's possible that their place of honor in my life has a reason and serves a purpose. Maybe I'll tie the ribbon on Riley's crib. A montage of pictures of John with the kids hangs over Maddie's crib, but Riley's has no Meaningful Object of its own. That's what I'll do. Tonight. If the ribbon is still in my pocket when I get home.

Work = SO BUSY.
Me in the evening = SO LAZY.
Blog Neglected

Brief bits:

No offers on the condo yet, but "lots of activity," says the realtor. Um, OK.

Riley is doing really well with the star night-light, but has managed to completely refrain from talking before it comes on only once. Most of the other days, his talking involves saying, "THE STAR IS NOT ON YET," in a rather loud voice, admonishing N and Maddie (who are often still sleeping) not to talk, and then waiting for it to come on. He's funny.

The poor little Ri-Man fell off the couch and totally mangled his hear on a radiator. Virtually no blood, but his ear is one big bruise. He's on the mend.

My in-laws get here tomorrow for a weekend. I think it will be good, although I know it will also be hectic and exhausting.

We didn't go to church last weekend; instead, we went to the Children's Museum. So fun! But I missed church and hope to go back this weekend.

Maddie has discovered Polly Pockets. It's the dawn of a new era.

I'm watching Idol this season. Of course I'm watching Idol this season. I'm going to blog about it starting next week, but my early faves are Lil Rounds and Danny Gokey. And I really, really hope Anoop makes it through to the Top 12.


Beth B. said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now and have never posted, but I wanted to say that you are wonderful! Also, I hope Anoop goes far as well! He is a friend of a friend of a friend. Isn't it funny how that works? Good luck with the in-laws!

Anonymous said...

Oh! You brought back memories when you mentioned Polly Pocket. My now 23 yr old was such a fan. I think we had Polly as the main gift for more than three or four Christmasses and birthdays. Of course, Polly was waaaay smaller back in the day (weren't we all?) and totally inappropriate for anybody under three years of age. She used to live in the tiniest of miniature worlds ... little farms and schoolhouses and dance studios, all about the size of a face powder compact. Thanks for the reminder!

Jen said...

hey.. how come i'm not on your list of blogs you read.. i know for a fact that you check my blog multiple times a day and email me or FB me for updates if I slack off.. *grin*

first off.. i think Cassandra has a bedazzler.. Ben has some tshirts that have been bedazzled.. you should ask.. maybe we could have a bedazzler party. i know that shiela, in particular, is in need of some bling...

ok.. now how can you not mention Adam or Amanda in your idols list.. i love gokey, don't get me wrong.. but you have to love a guy who can keep up with early 90's Steelheart ("I'll NE-VER LET YOU-OU GO-OOOO....").. plus i guess i'm going through a goth phase...

Jen "Two Moms and a Baby"

Julia said...

The ribbon on the bed will be lovely. A wonderful idea, really.

Good luck with the in-laws.

Anonymous said...

A fresh start doesn't mean you HAVE to get rid of everything. There's nothing at all wrong with keepsakes like that -- if you even have to question whether or not you should hold on to it, it probably means you're not ready to let it go yet. Keeping and treasuring the ribbon doesn't mean you're stuck. And even if the time should come when these objects don't have any meaning for you, you might want to hold on to them for Maddie and Riley. Tangible reminders of their father may mean an awful lot some day -- which is not to say you have to save every pair of socks or old bank statements. But things like the ribbon have *real* meaning, they tell a story of who their father was as a person, and they might like to have it some day.

django's mommy said...

I have a flower made out of baling wire that Josh made me- I know, it sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?- and when I found it, about six months ago, it brought me to my knees. I don't know why- it was just classic Josh.

(also, Riley reminds me of my son, who used to yell at 5am, 'Mama, how long until my morning light comes on??').

Anonymous said...

After a painful breakup (not the same at all as your experience, but obviously difficult in its own way...) I had some things that I knew I needed to throw out but just couldn't bring myself to do it. I put them all in a box and taped it closed so that I would not be tempted to open it randomly. I put the box up in a far corner of a closet.

A few years later I pulled it out and went through it. I was getting married to someone else, but there were a few things I wanted to keep because it's my HISTORY. So my box is now an envelope and is in the attic.

Yummy Mummy said...

No matter what you ever lose or find I think you will always have the two best parts of John.

good wishes for a quick sale of the house.

Catherine from Chicago said...

I missed you Snick! Glad you're back, and have been thinking of you during this transition for you and the twins.

What a beautiful thing to do with the ribbon. Riley will be so glad to have a memento from John.

This will date me, but I loved Polly Pocket - AND the Bedazzler - when I was young. I wish I had some of my old PPs to send the sweet girl!

Take care, I'm sending some 63 degree breezy weather your way....

Keen said...

Hey, I can relate to being busy and feeling lazy!

I love the story of the ribbon. As I was reading your post, I couldn't stop thinking, "Snick, don't lose the ribbon!"

Funny about the Bedazzler, I hadn't thought of that in at least twenty years, either! Pursuant to the Law of New Vocabulary, it will now come up constantly in the next two weeks.

I recently read my boys a poem that included the word "hornero," which is a bird I'd never heard of before. The next day, the hornero was used as a metaphor in a political speech I was translating. Except then I had to look it up, find out it's called an ovenbird, and do all kinds of research on the ovenbird and its nest so I could understand what the whole thing was about. I now know a lot about the ovenbird.

Linda in Colorado said...

Thank you for remembering your blog readers and taking the time to post. We so enjoy you! I am so glad you have found a church that you like. It will give you the strength you need during such difficult times. Just keep your mind and heart open to it. Keep in touch and good luck with selling the condo.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

I've missed you and happy to hear things are moving forward at the usual insane pace. It's good we're not your #1... but still, glad to hear what's up.

As a committed packrat (who may someday be actually committed for it) I can say: take a picture of the ribbon, just in case. With little kids, you never know, and as you say, you don't have that much (I have like 1000 paintings of Gavin's, so it's a bit easier to get rid of sentimental stuff... but not much easier. He was a collector too.).

Rebecca said...

I think it would be lovely to put away for Maddie, possibly to weave into her bouquet when she marries.

T said...

I think that even better than tying it around the crib (to maybe start the cycle of getting lost again) would be to frame it and hang it over Ri's crib? Just a suggestion.

Crossing my fingers for the condo.

And I loved Polly Pockets! Oh the memories.

Karyn said...

Oh, I'm so glad you're keeping the ribbon! I am also very sentimental about only a few things, and I found myself actively aching when you were talking about losing it... Keep the ribbon.

Ahh, Polly Pockets. Welcome. You will come to hate, hate, hate those damn little shoes if you don't already. I still can't fathom how they actually manufacture all those teeny things. Man, you're right: whole new world.

Glad to see you're back and settling into your new life. I always love to read your posts.

Susan said...

Snick - you have such a way with words. Us, as readers, get lost in your writing. I, too, am waiting for the book!! I'm all for keeping that ribbon. I hope it makes it to Riley's bed or at least your jewlry box or somewhere. I know your trying to break from the past but this ribbon is a positive about the past and something fun you could explain to your kids when they are much older. Awesome post! Enjoy the weekend.

kerry said...

I forgot about your idol recaps! I can't wait. I love them.

I understand you wanting to rid yourself of objects but think about 30 years from now. The kids will really appreciate having THINGS that are from their father.

Carey said...

I cherish stories like this, that pull my heartstrings. You might want to tuck the ribbon in a special book (even if it is long it can be looped over chunks of pages), which is what I so with some of my random special mementos. Keeps them safe but also readily accessible when needed for a moment of comfort, solace, happiness, or bittersweet peace.

winecat said...

Snick, hang on to that ribbon! My husband who's lived with cancer for 14 years is not a big gift giver. But every piece of ribbon is a treasure and the cards!!! Even after 23 years this man DOES card so beautifully they bring me to my knees.

The ribbon is important and I think you need to keep it save. Maddie and Riley will treasure it as they get older as part of a wonderful gift Daddy gave Mommy